In February 1836, the Alamo was defeated by the Mexican army of about 5,000 soldiers under the leadership of General de Santa Anna.
After the defeat of the Alamo, General Sam Houston gathered his forces of 910 men and retreated eastward, pursued by Santa Anna and 1,200 Mexican soldiers.
On April 18th, General Santa Anna passed through the New Washington which had become almost deserted.
There, he found twenty year old Emily Morgan, a beautiful slave woman who by some records was part white. Her yellow skin and beauty earned her the nickname "The Yellow Rose"
Upon seeing Emily, Santa Anna was smittened by her beauty. He decided to settle his troops nearby on the San Jacinto plains
despite the protests of his colonels who said the location was not easy to defend. The next morning,
after his men had taken the crops and cattle, Santa Anna being a lady’s man, ordered that Emily be brought to him.
She was captured along with a boy by the name of Turner.
Santa Anna persuaded Turner to lead his scouts to Sam Houston’s camp but before they left, Emily
convinced Turner that he should escape from Santa Anna’s scouts and get word to Sam Houston of where the Mexican’s camp was located.
Upon hearing of Santa Anna’s location, Sam Houston moved his troops into the woods near the headquarters of the Mexican Army.
He climbed a tree where he had a perfect view and from there, he could see Emily preparing a champagne breakfast for Santa Anna.
Houston was reported as saying, “I hope that slave girl makes him neglect his business and keeps him in bed all day.”
It was on that day April 21, 1836 that Houston’s army made a surprise attack on the Mexican camp and yes, indeed caught Santa Anna with his pants down!
The attack lasted just 18 minutes and nearly every man in the Mexican army was killed or captured and Santa Anna became a prisoner and
made to sign a treaty giving Texas Independence. The Texans lost 9 men and had 30 wounded men while General Houston sustained a shot in the ankle.
Emily, surviving the battle, went back to he duties at New Washington. Her owner, James Morgan heard of Emily’s bravery
and help in the winning of the battle. He was so awed by her courage that he repealed her indenture
and gave her passage to New York.